Today has been a truly emotional time, and I am so happy I was there through luck at the end, rather than through planning or request. Being with you while you so quietly slipped away made me realise how beautiful life is, and witness first hand how final death is.
For three and a half years you have bravely fought so much, cancer, COPD, DVT and god knows what else, but through it all you made me so very proud to be your son. I can hold my head high, and tell the world how strong and inspirational my mother was, and she is the guide who showed me the way through so much of my life.
You have touched so many people so deeply. And although you lived a somewhat solitary life, there was never a moment someone was not thinking about you or talking about you. So many people have rallied behind you during your battle, forums, blog readers and not to mention Facebook. Then of course there are all my friends who have offered their strength and support to me, and advice in finding you help, and giving you so much longer with us all. I am so pleased you got to see and hold 2 further grandchildren, and just a wee bit sorry you never got to see my beautiful Sian again. That breaks my heart more than anything.
So to anyone reading who has commented, offered advice, or even just sent their wishes, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to play a part in this difficult journey for us all. Some peoples words have been invaluable, advice priceless, and actions inspiring.
I have memories way way back, to the good old days of Homecroft Road, where we all shared a single bedroom in a tiny flat growing up. Without the help or support of modern day benefits, you fought to give us a good upbringing, put yourself last every time, and despite not appreciating it at the time, brought us up to be strong and independent. Independence which you yourself eventually lost, but you being dependent on us was an honour, and I am thankful I got to give back to such a wonderful person. Feeding you ice cream in your last hours reminded me how much I cared about you, and was so nice to bond at that level one last time before you left us.
I stand strong right now, because that is who you taught me to be. Independent, proud and most of all strong. However I am not afraid to admit that deep within me is a terrible void which can never be filled. I have lost my mother, my only parent, and no one can ever take your place.
Looking back over the years at some of the things we have done, and moments shared, good and bad. When I cried my eyes out on my first day at school you were there to comfort me, then boot me up the arse to let me know I would be ok. When I got run over at 3 years old, I know I scared you, and I'm sorry, but you made me strong enough to bounce back (quite literally). Hamburger buns with tomato sauce became a meal in its own when times got hard, but you know what, I loved them, so please carry no guilt for my upbringing in the early days.
In later life, through junior and secondary school you spent much time with me at Sydenham Childrens Hospital, with many a broken wrist. I remember not telling you all weekend that I had broken my wrist in case you told me off. Ill health, migraines, chicken pox and so much more, you nursed me through some bad times. And I hope that my helping you along this painful journey, pushing you when needed, and talking to you about the pros and cons of the treatments has in someway re payed my debt to you.
When it came time to leave school, I know it made you sad that I left without exams, but I hope in the years to come I in someway made you proud of me, and showed that I was no quitter, and had made the decision for the right reasons. I have always tried to follow your example of working for a living, and trying not to ask for outside help like benefits, so it is somewhat sad that in your dying days I was doing exactly that. I know you understand though. And am glad that I was, as it gave me valuable time to spend with you.
It is with a truly heavy heart that I am driving away from you tonight, sitting miles from you now, writing this. However true to my word I am travelling to tell your eldest sister the sad news in person. I'm sure she knows this is coming, being the oldest and wisest of the Lunt sisters. But with her condition, and my bond with her, I could not break this news any other way. Other friends will be told in person wherever possible too.
Mum, you have given me a life to be proud of, through adversity we rose, and proudly we stood, as children of Ann Snasdell, truly one of the bravest and most inspirational women I have ever met. Your presence will forever be with me, and your name will always make me proud to hear and read. I hope the entries on this blog on the internet will go in some way to forming eternal memories for me and others to share, and a legacy that will live on.
I guess its time to say goodbye for now, I'm sure I will speak to you again soon. But for now, may your pain free spirit rise to join your dear sister Mary. Please say hello to Graeme, John and Tas for me, and to any others who have left us too soon.
I love you mum, thank you for everything, and goodbye x x x.
Sent using BlackBerry®